Caregivers who take care of patients with dementia often face a series of struggles themselves. From stress to depression, it is paramount that these caregivers do all they can to improve not only the health of their patients but themselves as well.
Whether you are a paid caregiver or a family member stepping in to lend a helping hand, your health matters. Let’s explore top tips for being a caregiver to a person with dementia.
Communication With Other Caregivers Is Key
Many people suffering from dementia require the assistance of more than one caregiver. Anytime there is more than one person involved in the caretaking of a dementia patient, it is vital that open lines of communication be maintained. A simple miscommunication regarding medication could lead to a detrimental outcome. Fortunately, there are helpful apps you can download that streamline the communication process between caregivers. One of these apps is called CaringBridge. The app allows you to update information regarding medications, appointment times, and more.
Lower Your Taxes
Taxes are stressful for everyone. As a caregiver, when you add in tax responsibility on top of everything else, life can become extremely overwhelming. Thankfully, though, there are tax deductions you might qualify for as a person who provides caretaking services. You’ll need to consult with a licensed tax professional to determine how you can lower your tax bill as a caregiver.
Learn When to Split Tasks
Many caregivers take on too much responsibility. Just because you have the capability of preparing three meals a day seven days a week doesn’t mean you necessarily should. When you have friends and family members who are willing to lend a helping hand, you should take advantage of their help as often as possible. In addition to helping prepare meals, friends and family members can also split the responsibility of getting a dementia patient back and forth to medical appointments as well as going to the pharmacy to get medications filled.
You Need Medical Exams Too
Much of your time as a caregiver is spent taking your patients back and forth to medical appointments for exams. When was the last time you had an exam? To make sure you stay on top of your health, regular exams should be a top priority.
Squeeze in Exercise
You might feel like you have no time to exercise, but did you know walking 10 minutes a day can improve your energy levels as well as your mood? If you really don’t have 10 minutes a day to squeeze in a bit of exercise, then perhaps it’s time to look at all the responsibilities you have taken on and reorganize them. Everybody deserves enough time to take care of their own health.
Don’t Ignore Your Patient’s Symptoms
When you start to notice your patient’s symptoms are getting worse, it’s important not to ignore them. You may think that those with dementia are slowly going to get worse over time anyway, but by staying on top of the symptoms you notice, you can speak with a medical professional about the treatment methods that are available. Being able to treat each symptom appropriately is key to improving the quality of care you can provide to a patient with dementia.
Take Your Patients Out for a Walk
Just as important as it is for you to get in regular exercise, your patients need exercise too. Taking them with you on your 10-minute walk each day is an excellent way to stimulate their brain, which has been proven to help with memory recall.
The number one tip to remember as a caregiver of patients with dementia is that your health matters too. The healthier you are, the better care you can provide to your patients.